Innovations can come at a time of distress...but are we ready?
Before the world shut down in March, digitalization was a hot-topic as organizations raced to transform its businesses to keep up with their digital transformation journey. Once Covid-19 came, many organizations were forced to transform their businesses overnight. Digital transformation became a past-tense. Workers were to work in isolation and remotely. Digital transformation changed to a survival-must.
Things are moving fast, perhaps too fast, for us to react.
This is perhaps the first global crisis in recent history. Crisis management has also gone through its digital transformation. It is the first time when ICT plays a critical role in tracking infections within a community. Many apps pop up since March with the goal to track and provide information related to Covid19. A survey by MIT has yielded to one or more tracking app In every country to track the infection spread. Whether an app has chosen centralized or de-centralized architecture to tracking, surveillance, data privacy, and security remain a heated debate.
In the midst of digital transformation, our society could have reacted differently in this pandemic. The story of the tracking apps seems to tell us technology is ready to help, but the data is not. Restoring data trust and consent governance remains a global challenge for us to realize the benefit of technology to tackle humanitarian challenges.
Couple years back, I had the opportunity to work with policy influencers on the future of IoT. The goal was to avoid compliance regulations by endorsing a self-governance model to security and privacy. Unfortunately, the reality today tells me we are moving towards a world of compliance instead. Data governance, unfortunately, requires a series of enforceable rules with associated penalty to be effective.
In the new era of computing, data takes the center-stage. I observed different regulatory frameworks from different countries matured in recent years. Countries with developing economy also jump on the bandwagon to enforce their rules in data privacy and cybersecurity. The need to integrate compliance checks as part of our agile development process continues to grow.
I sense there is a need for a global legislation consolidation, since data does not have borders. Nevertheless, I am not aware of anytime in our history where we can stand together. This pandemic does get us closer to act together. My hope is one day we can be ready to mobilize information to tackle humanitarian challenges when technology is ready.
It will be a powerful moment for us to realize what the human race could achieve, when we stand and act together.